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Early naturalists’ accounts (1818-1936) on the Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea) fish fauna
Citable as data publication
National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (OGS), Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), Italy; (2016): Early naturalists’ accounts (1818-1936) on the Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea) fish fauna.

Availability: Creative Commons License This dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Early naturalists’ accounts are an important source of past information on marine species and communities. These documents, particularly abundant in the 19th century because of the ascendancy of the Linnaean system, provide the earlier available systematic description of species that can be used to set a historical baseline of marine biodiversity in the Adriatic Sea. The dataset includes information on fish species reported in 29 books written by 24 naturalists published between 1818 and 1936. more

Books were written in Italian, German or English, and translated into English. Information on invertebrates and mammals was not available in most books and thus it was not included in the dataset. Naturalists’ knowledge of fish fauna was primarily based on direct observations at fish markets and at ports, on interviews with fishermen, on literature and on the analysis of natural history museum collections. 255 fish species are described in terms of presence/absence, perceived-abundance, habitat, distribution, seasonality, reproduction, fishery, maximum length and maximum weight (4,027 records). In some documents, maximum length was expressed in Roman uncia (inch) or pes (foot), while maximum weight in Roman pound libra or ounce. The lengths were transformed in cm and approximated to the half millimetre according to the following: 1 Roman inch = 2.47 cm, 1 Roman foot = 29.65 cm. Weight was transformed in kg according to the following: 1 pound = 0.33 kg and 1 ounce = 0.027 kg. In the original documents, species were cited with their old scientific names (reported in the dataset under the field “SYNONYM”) that were updated according to the modern nomenclature referring to the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). The local vernacular name of each species is also reported in the dataset (under the field “VERNACULAR_ITALIAN_NAME”) as mentioned by the authors. For each book, the place where the author based his work is cited, when available (under the field “PLACE”).

Biology > Fish
Marine/Coastal, Historical records, Marine Historical Ecology, Naturalists, Vernacular names, MED, Adriatic Sea, Pisces

Geographical coverage
MED, Adriatic Sea [Marine Regions]

Temporal coverage
1818 - 1936

Taxonomic coverage
Pisces [WoRMS]

Fish length
Fishery type
Perceived abundance
Reproduction period
Wet weight of fish

National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (OGS), moredata creator
Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research; Branch office Chioggia, moredata creator

HMAP: History of Marine Animal Populations, more

Based on this dataset
Fortibuoni, T. et al. (2016). Common, rare or extirpated? Shifting baselines for common angelshark, Squatina squatina (Elasmobranchii: Squatinidae), in the Northern Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea). Hydrobiologia 772(1): 247-259., more
Raicevich, S.; Fortibuoni, T. (2013). Assessing neoextirpations in the Adriatic Sea: an historical ecology approach, in: CIESM[s.d.] Marine extinctions - patterns and processes, Valencia, spain, 10-13 Ooctober 2012. : pp. 97-111, more
Fortibuoni, T. et al. (2010). Coding early Naturalists' accounts into long-term fish community changes in the Adriatic Sea (1800–2000). PLoS One 5(11): e15502., more
Describing this dataset
Fortibuoni, T. et al. (2017). Fish and fishery historical data since the 19th century in the Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean. Scientific Data 4: 170104., more

Dataset status: Completed
Data type: Data
Data origin: Data collection
Metadatarecord created: 2016-09-27
Information last updated: 2017-03-20
All data in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS) is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy